Sunday, June 26, 2011
Yesterday afternoon my beloved and I spent some time on Lake Lowell, which is a 14.5 square mile reservoir with 28 miles of shoreline five miles southwest of Nampa, ID. The fish were not biting, but we didn't really care. We enjoyed simply boating around the lake, watching the beauty of the sky, seeing different birds, and spending some time together.
One of the birds we saw in abundance were many Western Grebes They are interesting to watch because they will be swimming along on top of the water in groups, much like a flock of ducks, but then all of a sudden they disappear completely as they dive down below to go fishing for minnows. Ducks will stick their heads down to nibble fish, but you can still see their feet and butts in the air. Not Grebes. They go deeper and stay down longer. So as we drifted along in the boat it was fun to watch them popping up and down as they hunted their dinner.
As we went exploring around the shore we saw a duck box along the shore which makes me think there are probably wood ducks there too, although I didn't see any yesterday. Wood ducks are one of my favorite water birds. Their colors are so pretty. We used to get them in our backyard all the time when we lived in Malaga on the shore of Lake Cortez.
I also saw a bird building a big nest up on a platform that might have been an osprey, but we were not close enough to be sure. There are 18 different birds that nest on platforms, so there is no way to be certain. Next time I'll take binoculars. I'd love to have my camera along for the ride, but didn't want to risk getting it wet.
I did see a comorant recently and was a bit surprised as I did not know they lived in this area. Also on one of my walks I saw a big fat chucker in a neighbor's yard.
Little by little I am learning to recognize more of the birds of the region. Of course with hundreds of species there are out there, I still have a long way to go.